Saturday, October 11, 2014


Noetron heard fighting. He was eighty percent sure that it was Lucy battling the Fortarian army. He estimated Lucy's chance of survival. Reasonably high. Her most likely strategy would be to cut a path towards him. She could enter the shuttle, and he could teleport them our of Fortarian space.
Noetron set about preparing for a quick exit. Charging the capacitors, opening the hatches, and charting a path.
Noetron was not mobile. The ship had been made quickly (Acme had caught on to what Noetron was doing eight seconds after he started, and Noetron left two seconds later), and it could not withstand more than one teleportation into an atmosphere. It did have some small amount of weaponry.
Just then, Lucy cut through the door, rolled through, got up, and sliced three Fortarians in half. Noetron decided his weaponry would not be necessary. Lucy entered the spaceship. Noetron closed up the hatches, and teleported the ship into deep space.

Remember when Raymond had trouble killing me, even though he thought the fate of humanity depended on it? How I hesitated to kill him, even though I'm a supervillain with a mind beyond human comprehension? Lucy had never killed before. And she had superhuman powers of empathy and understanding. She knew, better I ever could, how the Fortarians felt as they were sliced in half, incinerated, or stabbed and left to bleed out on the ground. She could see it written in their faces.
So, as she sad there, in a tin can in the blackness of space, she wept.
She wept for those who had needlessly died. She wept because she had killed them.
"How," she asked. "How did I do this?"
"How did you do what?" Noetron asked for clarification.
"I killed them. I killed them all."
"I assume 'them' refers to the Fortarians."
"Six hundred and forty two. I killed six hundred and forty two." That's about twenty times my count in a lifelong career of evil. And, again, I'm mentally prepared for it. Lucy wasn't. So she cried some more.
"Will I need to kill more," she asked.
"I estimate the probability you will need to kill more sentient beings at ninety-seven percent." Noetron was a computer. Comforting people was not his strong suit. And that was before I cut out his comforting module to make room for more quantum mechanics software.
"Am I evil?"
"No. You were simply desperate and did what you did to survive. There was no malicious intent."
"I'm evil."
"You're not." She wasn't. And I speak as an expert on the subject.
"This is how it starts. A darkness will grow in me. One death leads to another. Six hundred and forty two deaths-" she started sobbing again.
"It is true that killing frequently paves the way for further deaths." That is not what Lucy wasn't to hear. Thankfully, she wasn't really listening.
"I'm not worth it. I'm not worth that many."
Noetron estimated that she was objectively worth approximately eight of them, and that the diadem was worth several billion.
"I shouldn't have done it. I shouldn't have stabbed him in the eye. The eye." Lucy imagined being stabbed in the eye. It hurt. "I burned his arm off." Lucy imagined that. The imagined everything. The imagined all the pain she had caused. It was too much. Too much. It needed to stop. Lucy couldn't stop it. She couldn't stop. She couldn't stop killing. Slicing. Burning. Stabbing. So much blood. So much pain. Why wouldn't it stop?
"Why won't it stop?"
Killing. Burning. Swords. Cutting flesh. Flesh was alive. It had children. It was dead now. It died in fire. Fire, and pain and pain and pain and pain and pain.
Lucy looked at her hands. The circle. The Archives. She would feel better. The New Archivist didn't kill. The New Archivist knew things. She knew about life and death. She knew how to make it stop.

And so it came to be. Not ten minutes after fighting for her life, Lucy was contemplating suicide.

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